Ministère public v. MM. Escalier and Bonnarel

C-206/06 // C-261/06
January 7, 2004
Final judgment
European Union, Luxembourg

Governments
Direction Régionale de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt (DRAF)
Daniel Escalier, Jean Bonnarel
No description

Criminal court
Other
Where a Member State subjects the importation of a plant protection product from another Member State in which the product already has a marketing authorisation issued in accordance with Directive [91/414] to a simplified marketing authorisation procedure, is that Member State entitled to make an operator subject to that simplified authorisation procedure where the importer is a farmer who is importing the product solely for the needs of his farm?
Court of Justice of Luxembourg, European Union
Request for a preliminary ruling (EU)

November 8, 2007
No description
A Member State may subject to a simplified marketing authorisation procedure the parallel import of a plant protection product from another Member State in which it already has the benefit of such an authorisation, where the importation is made by a farmer solely for the needs of his farm, and the marketing authorisation thus granted is personal to each operator. It cannot be made a condition of that authorisation that the imported product be named with the brand name belonging to the operator c
EU law

Following inspections of the storage facilities for pesticides of Spanish origin on the estates operated by Mr. Escalier and Mr. Bonnarel, DRAF initiated criminal proceedings. On June 15, 2005, the Court of Carcassonne found Mr. Escalier and Mr. Bonnarel guilty of the offenses of possession with a view to use of these products not benefiting from a marketing authorization and sentenced them to a suspended fine of € 1,500. Mr. Escalier and Mr. Bonnarel appealed these judgments to the Montpellier Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal decided on May 24, 2006 to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court of Justice: Where a Member State makes the importation of a plant protection product from another Member State in which the product already benefits from a marketing authorisation granted in accordance with Directive 91/414 subject to a simplified marketing authorisation procedure, is that Member State entitled to rely on that simplified authorisation procedure against an operator where the importer is a farmer who imports the product solely for the needs of his agricultural holding? If the answer to this first question is negative, can the Commission/France judgment on personal imports of medicinal products by individuals be transposed to the case of plant protection products imported by farmers for the sole purpose of their farms? On November 8, 2007, CJEU ruled that a Member State may make the parallel import of a plant protection product from another Member State in which it already has such an authorization subject to a simplified marketing authorization procedure, where the import is made by a farmer for the sole purpose of his farm, the marketing authorization thus granted being specific to each operator. This authorization cannot be made conditional on the imported product being designated by the operator's own brand name when the latter is a farmer who is importing in parallel solely for the needs of his own farm.